Were We Doing Business With The Enemy?

Were We Doing Business With The Enemy?

What my family and I witnessed eight years ago unfolding from the battlefield is a microcosm of what has transpired throughout the lives of many gold star families and their fallen heroes, past and present. It leaves us asking this question…WHO ARE THE TRUE ENEMIES?

By TLB contributor Susan Price, Gold Star Mother

“Mama, if it happens and you’re confronted by two Marines
at the door, you will know I’m with God.”

…these were the words echoed by my beloved son during various conversations throughout his twelve years of service as a United States Marine. No amount of time could ever prepare a parent for this dreaded nightmare. September 8th, 2017, marks the eight year anniversary and passing of Aaron and his Marine brothers, altering our families future forever. That confrontational moment unleashed the sounds and screams of despair, unrecognizable to even me, as these two Marines called my name while sinking to my knees I heard, On behalf of the United States Marine Corps, we regret to inform you that your son, Aaron Michael Kenefick, has been killed in action during a complex ambush in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, in the village of Ganjgal”.
“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.” Herodotus
Gunnery Sgt Aaron Michael Kenefick, pictured right.
Aaron was a “Noble Warrior,” yet first and foremost, he was a child of God, and a light to the world. He knew at a young age he wanted to serve his country, as his Marine grandfather before him, he enlisted into the Marine delayed entry program at the beginning of his senior year of high school in 1996. After graduation, June 1997, he attended boot camp in Paris Island, S.C., afterwards was chosen for Jump School Ft Benning, Georgia, where he graduated as Honor Grad. Always at the top of his class, he would grow in rank, competing against himself, preparing and furthering his career, serving over twelve years as a highly decorated stellar Marine with top clearance. His duties took him to foreign lands in front of big eyes, with some years served in RECON/SPECIAL OPERATIONS and Embassy duty, and from July 2004 to July 2007, he served at U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, Tampa FL, working as an “Enlisted Aide to a Brig General in charge of Strategic Plans and Policies” afterwards working with the “Director of Intelligence” and other prominent echelon in charge of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, before being transferred August 2007 to Marine Combat Assault Battalion in Okinawa Japan, where he served two years before deploying to Afghanistan in July of 2009, as an American Advisor to the Afghan soldiers, on the Embedded Training Team 2-8, when finally meeting his fate less than two months later.

Gunnery Sgt Aaron Michael Kenefick will forever be tied to the two living Medal of Honor recipients, Marine Sgt Dakota Meyer and Army Captain William Swenson for their roles played out during the “Ganjgal Ambush” which was one of “the most controversial investigations for dereliction of duties during the entire Afghanistan War.”

It was some four months later, our gold star families received a copy of this five-hundred heavily redacted pages of the “15-6 Investigative Report”, it was painfully difficult to digest as I read the narrative and surrounding facts of this three sided complex ambush. The first half of the investigation had taken place by the Army, the second half conducted by the Marine Corps. The unbelievable egregious accounts of inactions against Americas legacy, one egregious account after another, polluted this maze of paperwork, This was CRIMINAL!!

Why were our Marines hung out to die? It mentioned someone from the State Department had met with the Ganjgal elders days before the ambush. Why? Who was this representative of the State Department that visited the elders of the Ganjgal village? Why was the State Department asking the elders how much money they needed to rebuild their mosques and sewers when we have enough here in America to be rebuilt? Are you kidding me I thought!! We’re spending our hard earned tax dollars on foreign soil while neglecting our own people and countries issues, using American valor as pawns on war fronts to win the hearts and minds of a tribe of  people who have been fighting the Taliban all of their existence? The Village of Ganjgal is known to be a “hot bed” and Taliban village!! Were we doing business with the enemy?

This was also the time frame that Army Deserter, Beau Bergdahl left his post (June 2009) and a few years later it would be revealed that President Obama would make a trade deal in exchange for an American Army Deserter for FIVE “Gitmo Prisoners”.

Who is the real enemy here and what was this obtuse agenda?

The other biggest tragedy, NOT only did our Marine sons lay down their lives while serving America based on their own beliefs, Yet, the truth is “ Marines died due to the Rules of Engagement and an added Tactical Directive on top of the ROES.” They were doubly handcuffed on the battlefield in a remote village where the Russians had fought and lost to the Taliban forces from 1979 to 1989. As I tried to process the words, my heart doubled in pain to read about the Negligence, Abandonment and Dereliction of Duties, by a few Officers in charge of the tactical operation command this fateful day of September 8, 2009.   

I despondently read, as witnesses recalled, the Marine team involved in a firefight on the battlefield, and as they were calling over the radios for air and artillery support for nearly two hours, their requests had fallen upon deaf ears as these three officers in the air conditioned tactical operation command were back and forth from their duty station where apparently someone changed the frequencies of the transmissions being communicated by the destitute Marines and their begging for their lives on the battlefield against one hundred to one hundred and fifty Taliban who out armed our Americans.

Yes, out armed our Americans!! If the Army was the supplier of air and artillery for our Marines and Coalition forces, and we were out of organic air and artillery support, who was the supplier for the Taliban who out manned and out armed the most powerful military in the world?? We have drones and the most precise technical equipment, we could see the enemy at all times and what they are doing….unless the enemy is from within, now that’s a thought!! After all in Medal of Honor Recipient, Marine Dakota Meyers Book, “Into The Fire” pg 74, “Located two miles north of Joyce (the Army Headquarters in Afghanistan) Ganjgal valley was an infiltration corridor from next-door Pakistan. Video from night cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles showed donkey trains wending their way up to the border, smuggling out cedar planks and bringing in arms.” Who were these arms dealers? Surely they were proficient in KNOWLEDGE of their strategic military and political politics of Americans and the known enemy forces, and maybe various agencies?

Gunnery Sgt Aaron Michael Kenefick, United States Marine Corps pictured here.

The horrific eyewitness accounts in the investigation report continued as our Marines fought with their last bullets, believing air support was coming to rescue them, they were bombarded by a series of questions by these NegligentOfficers in the air conditioned TOC . “Who is on your roster”? “Is this air and artillery support for the Army or Marines?” while laughing and telling the Marines they would have to figure things out for themselves!! Telling our Marines that the “Organic” air support was tied up on other missions and they would have to wait for “Inorganic” air support. It was the young Sergeants in the TOC that called to one of the neighboring bases to dispatch two choppers immediately!! As I read further through my tears, “the interrogation of men of honor and valor” were being put through wearing their battle rattle in the heat of about 125 degrees while these white gloved abusive and terroristic Officers in the air conditioned TOC were incriminating honorable men about to die by the derelict attitudes of men serving as a contradiction in uniform, as if they knew they would and could get away with this crime of tyranny.

It was stated in the 15-6 Investigation Report that these Officers were to receive career ending Reprimands, yet, there is hard evidence and proof, that one of the Officers in particular was promoted some six to nine months later and put in charge of “stability operations” in that very region, and bragging about how his artillery division was the best in the world and yet he was the man most responsible for the death of three Marines and a Navy Corpsman. This man was not only promoted, yet allowed to retire a few years later while collecting an army pension wearing the blood of three Marines and a Navy Corpsman on his hands and God only knows how many others. Was this man being promoted and his Reprimand rescinded because he was being rewarded for his outlaw acts against men of honor? Eyewitnesses also mentioned the Officer most responsible for the loss of life ensued, who was number one in charge had purposely abandoned his post to work out in the gym and grabbed chow!! This is a psychopathic and destructive mentality to redact human life, front line valor!! Who would put this Officer up to such a task? Why?

One eyewitness account mentioned my son radioing one of the Pilots, begging for air support, and providing his grids. While the Marine were only minutes from being rescued by two choppers from a so called“inorganic” units, just about to land, there came a call over the air waves from a higher echelon, for the Pilots to “clear the airfield”. “clear the airfield” “clear the airfield!! Who was this higher echelon and why did he order the Pilots to abort rescuing trapped U.S.Marines by Taliban forces and why were the good guys being micromanaged?

The Pilots grew reluctant to listen to this higher echelon as this went against their consciousness, they were witnesses to the screams and cries of our Marines for nearly two hours, pleading for support, which haunted them for years. Some short time later, after our Marines were abandoned without any air or artillery in the isolated horseshoe valley of the village of ganjgal were left to die. My son and his team were found shot to death and their bodies left in a ditch. This ambush that started at five thirty am during Ramadan, and lasted till after four pm in the afternoon, yet the narrative states it ended about noon.

Eight years later the lives of our families have been redefined and also redacted to some measure of our legacy.

The Ganjgal ambush produced two living medal of honor recipients, and were tested beyond all evils of this world. Our families are grateful for their heroic acts and for returning our Marine heroes to our families so that we could provide the proper an honorable burial with the dignity that was absent on the battlefield and at war with coalition forces that were suppose to be on the side of Americans. Later in time, eye witness accounts, and other information presented itself through various channels of communications that conflict the one sided story by the military forces. What my family and I witnessed eight years ago unfolding from the battlefield is amicrocosm of what has transpired throughout the lives of many gold star families and their fallen heroes, past and present. as well, within our country at every level. It leaves us asking this question,


Today, there has been NO JUSTICE or ACCOUNTABILITY, Yet, valorous men died that day, serving with honor they could take to their graves, and their God.  Those not so honorable, serving in contradiction, and receiving the earthly promotions and pensions will find out in their own time, and own mortality that possessions cannot be taken to their graves nor to their God.

As a mother, the giver of life, how does one resurrect the loss and emotional pain of loosing a child, and through the years expected to turn this immeasurable grief into a celebration of life? 

It is through the constant love and support of family and friends, a strong spiritual belief, and cherished memories that sustain me through this deep state of abyss into a stark new reality and rational of each waking day. For these are the seeds of my transformation process and revolutionary path. A parents love for their children far extends beyond the realms of this dimension and into the after life. It’s unnatural for a mother or father to bury their child, as they are the most sacred parts of ourselves. 

His name Aaron Michael, meaning “Rod of Truth, and “Warrior Angel,” carried the vibrations of a more symbolic measure as he grew into himself as a protector for America, tragically, ending as an American Hero at the age of thirty years old. Aaron in his own words: “I’m a laid back guy who try’s not to take himself too seriously. I’ve experienced many things in life, both good and bad and I have to say it’s made me the strong man I am today. I cherish my friends and family more than anything in this world as they have always been there for me through the good times and the bad times. I’ve been all over the world, pick a place and I’ve probably been there for my days of traveling are far from over. I have a competitive spirit and I am driven by ambitions which include first and foremost, happiness and whatever that encompasses. I’m not afraid to take chances or risks. No risk no reward, but I do understand that for every action there is a consequence”.

Less than 1% of Americans serve our nation in uniform, yet all Americans are effected by some aspect or consequence of this insidious clandestine arrangement creating a tragic plot leaving Gold Star families abandoned by their fallen. Fate and destiny have chosen it’s members through the greatest sacrifices of our men and women of valor, who’s loved ones wear a hidden crown of thorns etched upon a heavy heart, you may see remnants of it through our eyes in times of sorrow, for our heroes have given their today for a free nations tomorrow. SUSAN PRICE, GOLD STAR MOTHER

All that we are we will pass on to our children ~ our loves, our hopes, our dreams, our character. Therefore, let your thoughts be planted in rich soil and let your actions stand tall in a child’s eyes. Just as fruit does not fall far from the tree, children do not stray far from their heroes. 


This is a VBS2 simulation terrain created for a US Army Lesson Learned video. The location is in Afganistan.
Story, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl exchanged for top 5 Taliban commanders at Gitmo
Includes on the first few pages of the 500 page investigation report known as the 15-6.

Articles on the Ganjgal Ambush in detail:

The short videos of the two living Medal of Honor Recipients accounts of the Ganjgal Ambush. Marine Dakota Meyer and Army Captain Will Swenson who retrieved the bodies of the fallen that fateful day of September 8 2009.

Before four Americans were abandoned and left to die in Benghazi, there was the ambush at Ganjgal. Read the account in the Marine Corps Times. The following links are separated into three parts – all in PDF format.

During the ambush it was stated over and again that the Marines arms and sensitive equipment were missing and taken by the enemy Taliban, this article tells you that it took two years for our own people to find the Marines weapons and sensitives and found them in Taliban terrorist homes?  Our Govt or State Dept, never sent drones in to find the missing sensitive equipment?

The plan for Operation STRONG EAGLE III entailed nothing less than a direct assault on the home areas of insurgent leader Qari Zia Rahman and his subordinate, a man known only as Tamidullah. Since 2001, Coalition forces had only rarely entered the Ganjgal Valley. In 2009, insurgents had ambushed and killed four Marines and nine Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers at the head of the valley. Rahman, known by the abbreviation “QZR,” used the area as a base of operations from which he dispatched fighters and weapons to other parts of Kunar Province. QZR had also established a clandestine radio station managed by Tamidullah through which he communicated with the local populace to discredit coalition activities. No Slack’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Joel B. Vowell, hoped that neutralizing the insurgent headquarters in the Ganjgal would grant No Slack’s replacement, 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment (2-35 IN) – dubbed Task Force Cacti – time to fully establish itself in Kunar without facing the prospect of a major summer offensive from QZR’sforces.1


About TLB contributor Susan Price

Susan Price is a National Gold Star Mother and resides in the Suburban Western New York area. The daughter of a Marine, and Army Veteran, She is also the Mother of a Fallen American Hero, Gunnery Sgt, Aaron Michael Kenefick a highly decorated and stellar Marine of over twelve years. The tragic loss of Susan’s son and his Marine Embedded Training Team, raised more questions than answers. It was through a Mother’s undying love, that Susan transformed into an Investigative Researcher, and through her countless hours, days, weeks and years connecting the dots, factual documentation, eyewitness accounts and more, emerged a back story to the crimes that took place on the battlefield that fateful day of September 8th 2009. Susan is also known as a Veterans Advocate and a National voice. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, and other national media as well as and Patriot radio. Having worked with various Congressmen concerning our Military and Veterans, she has been sought out by many as the “the Gold Star Mother with a voice” – and “go to person”.

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